Drownings are preventable, yet Louisiana has the highest drowning rate in the United States for children 1-14 years old. It is the second-leading cause of death among Louisiana children in the same age group. That’s why Lakeview Regional Medical Center, a campus of Tulane Medical Center, is joining the Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency (LOPA) and the Louisiana Department of Health to educate the public on pool and water safety to prevent further drownings.
“As families stay home this summer amid the COVID-19 guidelines, it’s more important than ever to be vigilant when children are around pools and spas,” said Dr. Charles Muntan, Lakeview Regional’s emergency room director. “While swim lessons are encouraged for all children, just because they know how to swim doesn’t mean they should ever be left unattended near a pool or open water. This advice isn’t just for toddlers – teens are at the second-highest risk of drowning, next to toddlers.”
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), most child drownings occur at home during the summer months, and 56% of the drownings under five years of age are attributed to a gap in adult supervision.
Here are seven safety tips from the CPSC’s Pool Safely: Simple Steps to Save Lives, a national public education campaign to reduce childhood drownings, submersion injuries, and entrapments:
1. Never leave a child unattended in or near water.
2. Teach children how to swim.
3. Teach children to stay away from drains.
4. Ensure that all pools and spas in your backyard and any public pool you may visit have compliant drain covers.
5. Install proper barriers, covers, and alarms on and around your pool and spa.
6. Know how to perform CPR on children and adults.